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2016 CAST & CREW

Flutist STEPHANIE JUTT's performances of new music, transcriptions, and traditional repertoire have made her a model for adventurous flutists everywhere. Her transcriptions of Brahms sonatas were published by International Music Publishing, and an all-Brahms recording with pianist Jeffrey Sykes, Stolen Moments, was released in 2005 on Centaur. Trained at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she received undergraduate and graduate degrees, Ms. Jutt won the Concert Artist Guild and Pro Musicis International Soloist awards and received solo recitalist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Rockefeller Foundation. Ms. Jutt has performed in recital throughout the U.S., Europe, South America, and Asia. She has served as a board member and program chair for the National Flute Association. Ms. Jutt is principal flute of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and was recently presented with the Margaret Rupp Cooper Award in honor of her years of service, commitment to the orchestra, and musicianship. Ms. Jutt is on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A recipient of a grant by the Kauffmann Foundation for Entrepreneurship, she is the founder of UW-Madison Arts Enterprise, a multi-faceted initiative that enables student artists to survive and thrive in today's creative econo. (Website)
Pianist JEFFREY SYKES has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Western Europe. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with oboist Gerard Reuter and flutist Stephanie Jutt under the auspices of the Pro Musicis Foundation. Dr. Sykes holds degrees with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Franz Schubert Institut in Baden-bei-Wien, Austria, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received his doctorate. He has garnered numerous awards, including the Jacob Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education and a Fulbright grant to study at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. Dr. Sykes serves on the music faculty of the University of California-Berkeley and California State University East Bay. He is a member of the San Francisco Piano Trio and resides in San Francisco. (Website)
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, pianist ELENA ABEND is a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed with all the major orchestras of her country and has recorded with the Filarmonica Nacional. As the recipient of a scholarship from the Venezuelan Council for the Artist, Ms. Abend studied at the Juilliard School, where she received her Bachelor and Master degrees. She has performed at the Purcell Room on London's South Bank, Avery Fisher Hall in New York's Lincoln Center, Weill Recital hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Academy of Music with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Other engagements have included the Wigmore Hall in London, the United Nations, the Toulouse Conservatoire in France, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C., Merkin Concert Hall in New York, and many other celebrated venues. Ms. Abend has been on the faculty of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University's String Academy summer program, and the Milwaukee Chamber Music Festival. She has performed with Present Music Now and the Frankly Music Series on several occasions and is currently professor of piano and chamber music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Violinist SUZANNE BEIA, a native of Reno, Nevada, began her musical studies on viola at the age of ten. Three years later she shifted her attention to the violin and made her solo debut at age fourteen with the North Lake Tahoe Symphony. She has appeared frequently as soloist with orchestras throughout the U.S. Before coming to Madison to join the Pro Arte Quartet as second violin, she held the position of principal second violin in the Wichita Symphony and has held concertmaster positions in the Reno Philharmonic, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the Bay Area Women's Philharmonic, and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. Her chamber music experience has been extensive; she performed for seven years in the Verano Trio and more recently for two years with the Wichita-based Sedgwick String Quartet. She has been invited to perform in such festivals as Chamber Music West, the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, and the Festival de Prades, and has served on the faculties of the Rocky Ridge Music Center and Florida International University. In addition to her duties with the Pro Arte Quartet, Ms. Beia performs with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and is concertmaster of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. This is her fifteenth season with BDDS. (Website)
KATARZYNA BRYLA, violinist, was born in 1982 in Poznan, Poland. After graduating with bachelor's and master's degrees from the Academy of Music in Poznan, she entered the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, where she now studies with Herbert Greenberg. Ms. Bryla has won a number of national and international violin competitions. Among them are first prizes in the National Children's Art Competition in Warsaw at the age of eight; National Violin Competition in Gdansk; National J. S. Bach competition in Zielona Gora, where she was also awarded a special prize for the best performance of Bach; and the International Contemporary Music Competition in Warsaw. In addition to her solo career, Ms. Bryla is also an active chamber music player and has received top prizes in many chamber music competitions for her trio and quartet playing. Ms. Bryla has performed with major Polish orchestras and appeared in music centers in Poland, Germany, France, Spain, England, Gran Canaria, and the U.S. Her recent activities include her appearance as a soloist in the International Maazel/Vilar Conducting Competition and her performance of "Tzigane" by Maurice Ravel with the Sinfonietta Cracovia. (Website)
Executive Director SAMANTHA CROWNOVER balances her Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society duties with various art and historic preservation consulting projects. Together with Stephanie Jutt, she launched the Arts Enterprise Initiative on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. She served on the boards of the Friends of the UW-Madison Geology Museum, the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation, and the First Settlement Neighborhood, a part of the Capitol Neighborhoods Association. Ms. Crownover received a B.A. and M.A. in art history from UW-Madison and was curator at Tandem Press, a fine-art print-making studio which is part of UW-Madison's art department. She has been on the staff of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the American Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy. This is her seventeenth season with BDDS.
Cellist JEAN-MICHEL FONTENEAU is a founding member of the Ravel String Quartet, which was awarded two prizes at the Evian String Quartet Competition and won the first French Grammy Award, "Les Victoires de la Musique Classique." The quartet has toured extensively around the world and created the first-ever string quartet residency program in France. Mr. Fonteneau performs frequently with such artists as Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Kim Kashkashian, and members of the Amadeus, Juilliard, Pro Arte, and Fine Arts Quartets. He served on the faculty of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon, France, until 1999, when he moved to the U.S. to join the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He appears regularly at summer festivals, including the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Domaine Forget, and Oberlin at Casalmaggiore. Mr. Fonteneau's recordings can be found on the Musidisc-France and Albany Records labels. (Website)
Violist DAVID HARDING has an extensive solo and chamber music career, having performed throughout Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Central America in such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie and Concertgebouw. His performances have been broadcast on BBC, NPR, and Deutschland Radio, Berlin, and he is frequently featured on CBC Radio in Canada. Mr. Harding regularly performs at chamber music festivals throughout North America and is a member of the Music Toronto Chamber Society, Triskelion String Trio, and the American String Project. Mr. Harding is a seasoned quartet player, having been a former member of both the Chester String Quartet and the Toronto String Quartet. He has made numerous recordings, most recently of Bach's Goldberg Variations and Brahms's viola sonatas and horn trio. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Mr. Harding studied with Paul Dokto and Emanuel Vardi. He was the winner of the Sir John Barbirolli Award at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. Mr. Harding previously served on the faculty of Indiana University-South Bend and is currently professor of viola at the University of British Columbia. Mr. Harding plays on a viola made by Pietro Antonio dalla Costa, Treviso, Italy, circa 1750. This is his fourth season with BDDS. (Website)
Pianist RANDALL HODGKINSON, grand prize winner of the International American Music Competition sponsored by Carnegie Hall and the Rockefeller Foundation, has performed with orchestras in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Boston, Cleveland, and abroad in Italy and Iceland. In addition he has performed numerous recital programs spanning the repertoire from J.S. Bach to Donald Martino. He is an artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society and performs the four-hand and two-piano repertoire with his wife, Leslie Amper. Festival appearances include Blue Hill-Maine, Bargemusic, Chestnut Hill Concerts (Madison, Connecticut), Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest (Portland, Oregon), and Mainly Mozart in San Diego. Mr. Hodgkinson recently released a CD of solo piano music on the Ongaku label. Other recordings include a live world premiere of the Gardner Read piano concerto for Albany records. Mr. Hodgkinson is on the faculties of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and the Longy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is his seventh season with BDDS. (Website)
ALAN KAY is co-principal clarinet and a former artistic director of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as well as principal clarinet of New York's Riverside Symphony and the Little Orchestra Society. He also appears as principal with the American Symphony and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. Mr. Kay's honors include the C.D. Jackson Award at Tanglewood, a Presidential Scholars Teacher Recognition Award, Juilliard's 1980 Competition, and the 1989 Young Concert Artists Award with the sextet Hexagon, later featured in the prize-winning documentary film Debut. Mr. Kay is a founding member of Windscape and Hexagon, and he appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Also a conductor, Mr. Kay studied conducting at the Juilliard School with Otto-Werner Mueller and has conducted orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the New York City area. Mr. Kay taught at the Summer Music Academy in Leipzig, Germany, in 2004 and currently teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, and Stony Brook University. He has served on the juries of the International Chamber Music Festival in Trapani, Italy; Young Concert Artists International Auditions; and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. (Website)
HEIDI KRUTZEN is principal harpist with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and the National Broadcast Orchestra. She has been guest principal harpist with the Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, and Vancouver Symphony and has recorded as a soloist with the Latvian National Symphony in Riga. Ms. Krutzen has appeared in chamber music festivals across North America. Most recently, she was a featured soloist with the Shanghai Quartet at the Oregon Bach Festival and with members of the New York Philharmonic at Strings in the Mountains, Colorado. Ms. Krutzen is on the faculty of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and teaches at the University of British Columbia School of Music. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Eastman School of Music. This is her fourth season with BDDS. (Website)
Soprano DÌSELLA LÀRUSDÓTTER, originally from Iceland, began her relationship with the Metropolitan Opera with her performance at the 2007 National Council Auditions and the subsequent documentary film The Audition. During the 2011-2012 season, she was invited to cover the roles of Miss Schlesen in Philip Glass's Satyagraha and Servilia in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. During the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Làrusdóttir made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Garsenda in Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini, and also performed the role of Woglinde in Wagner's Götterdämmerung and Das Rheingold. During the 2013-2014 season, she returned to the Metropolitan Opera for its productions of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, Dvořák's Rusalka, Rossini's La Cenerentola, Bellini's La Sonnambula, and the Baroque pastiche, The Enchanted Island. This is her first season with BDDS. (Website)
Pianist LAYTON JAMES recently retired after forty-one years as principal keyboard with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Specializing in harpsichord and organ continuo realizations, he is featured on many recordings, including Handel's Messiah, conducted by Robert Shaw. Mr. James has recently been a soloist with the Duluth-Superior Symphony and guest conductor of the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, and has composed a Baroque piece for the Blue Baroque Band. He has appeared at Music in the Vineyards, Aspen Music Festival, Music at Gretna, Lake Placid Sinfonietta, AlexFest and the Brainerd Music Festival. He is also cantor and organist of Bethel Lutheran Church in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Baritone TIMOTHY JONES has performed in opera houses and with symphony orchestras in the U.S., Ecuador, Mexico, and the Czech Republic. He has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, and the Jacksonville Symphony. In opera houses he has performed leading roles in "The Marriage of Figaro," "Carmen," Die Zauberflöte," "Cosi Fan Tutte," "Don Giovanni," "Don Pasquale," "La Boheme," "Falstaff," "Macbeth," and "La Traviata." He has been a frequent guest with the Victoria Bach Festival, New Texas Festival, Round Top Music Festival, Ars Lyrica Houston, Cactus Pear Music Festival, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. As a committed performer of contemporary music, Mr. Jones has commissioned and premiered numerous compositions by leading composers of our time. He currently lives in Houston, where he serves on the faculty of the University of Houston.
CAROLYN KALLENBORN works with fabric and metal to create conceptual garments, sculptural pieces and wall works. Her work has been shown in Oaxaca Mexico, Beijing, China; Cheong-ju, Korea; the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona; Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Indiana; and other shows and galleries in St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta and Cambridge, Mass. In addition, her work has been featured in a number of magazines. Each year, Ms. Kallenborn spends time in Oaxaca, Mexico where she works with traditional and contemporary artists. She created directed and produced the internationally acclaimed documentary film Woven Lives which celebrates the lives of the Zapotec artisans with whom she works. For the past eight years, her artwork and sculptural installations have been inspired by her time in Oaxaca. Ms. Kallenborn joined the faculty of Design Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Fall of 2007. Before coming to Madison, she was an Assistant Professor in the Fiber Department of the Kansas City Art Institute for six years.
Cellist PARRY KARP is artist-in-residence and professor of chamber music and cello at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet for the past 37 years, the longest tenure of any member in the quartet's 100 year history. Mr. Karp is an active solo artist, performing numerous recitals annually in the U.S., and has recorded six solo CDs. As a performer of new music, he has performed in the premieres of dozens of works, many of which were written for him, including concerti, sonatas, and chamber music. Unearthing and performing unjustly neglected repertoire for cello is a passion of Mr. Karp's. In recent years he has transcribed for cello many masterpieces written for other instruments, including all of the Duo Sonatas of Brahms. As cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet he has performed over 1,000 concerts throughout North, Central, and South America, Europe, and Japan. His discography with the group is extensive (over two dozen recordings) and includes the complete string quartets of Ernest Bloch, Miklos Rosza, and Karol Szymanowski. In 2012 he was a recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award at UW-Madison. (Website)
Winner of the 2006 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist ERIN KEEFE has also been the grand prize winner in the Valsesia Musica (Italy), Torun Schadt (Poland) and Corpus Christi international violin competitions, and was the silver medalist in the Carl Nielsen (Denmark), Sendai (Japan), and Gyeongnam (Korea) competitions. In recent seasons, Ms. Keefe has appeared with the New Mexico Symphony, the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, the Sendai Philharmonic and the Göttingen Symphony and has given recitals throughout the United States and in Austria, Italy, Germany, Korea, Poland, Japan and Denmark. She has collaborated with such artists as Richard Goode, Menahem Pressler, Leon Fleisher and the Emerson String Quartet, and she has recorded for Naxos and Deutsche Grammophon. She has made festival appearances at Ravinia, Music@Menlo, the Marlboro Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire, and has performed at the Seattle, OK Mozart, Mimir, Bravo! and Bridgehampton chamber music festivals. Ms. Keefe is an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She earned a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute.
Violist DANIEL PANNER enjoys a varied career as a performer and teacher. As violist of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, he concertized throughout the United States and Israel. He has served as the principal violist of the New York City Opera and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at music festivals in Marlboro, Tanglewood, and Aspen. Mr. Panner has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and has collaborated with members of the Cleveland, Emerson, Guarneri and Juilliard string quartets. An active performer of new music, he is a member of Sequitur and the Locrian Ensemble and has performed with such new-music groups as Speculum Musicae, the Da Capo Chamber Players, and Transit Circle. Mr. Panner received the 1998 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award and served as teaching assistant to the Juilliard String Quartet for two years. After receiving a bachelor's degree in history at Yale University, Mr. Panner continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School. He currently teaches at the Juilliard School, the Mannes College of Music, SUNY Stony Brook and the Queens College Conservatory of Music.
Violinist WILLIAM POLK joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2007, after serving for two years as associate principal second violin of the Minnesota Orchestra. Previously, he was guest principal second violin of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Polk has performed as an orchestral musician with the San Francisco Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony. and has participated as a chamber musician in the Mainly Mozart Summer Festival in San Diego and with the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society. In 2002 he and his wife, violist Kerri Ryan, founded and performed with the Minneapolis Quartet, which was awarded a McKnight Artist Fellowship in 2006. In 2007 he and Ms. Ryan performed as soloists in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the Minnesota Orchestra.
Cellist BETH RAPIER began her professional career at age sixteen as an apprentice with the Louisville Orchestra. After studying at Indiana University and in New York with Janos Starker, Fritz Magg, and Timothy Eddy, she performed, toured, and taught. Ms. Rapier joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1986 and assumed her current position as assistant principal in 1991. She has been a featured soloist with the orchestra in works by Haydn and David Ott and has appeared with the Colorado Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, and many regional ensembles. An award winner at several chamber music competitions, she has performed in Taiwan, Japan, Europe and througout the U.S. She was a founding member of the Rosalyra String Quartet and a 2000 winner of a McKnight Foundation award. Ms. Rapier is a frequent guest at chamber music festivals, including Cactus Pear, Music in the Vineyards, and BDDS. Ms. Rapier has recorded quartets by Beethoven, Bartók, Shostakovich, and Brahms. In April 2005, Ms. Rapier was again named a McKnight Foundation award winner for her performance of cello duos with her husband, Anthony Ross. In 2006, she appeared as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra in the world premiere of "Sinfonia Concertante" by Kevin Puts. This is her fifth season with BDDS. (Website)
Percussionist DANE RICHESON has performed worldwide as solo marimbist, chamber music percussionist, ethnic percussion artist, and jazz drummer. Mr. Richeson has performed with such diverse artists as Lukas Foss, Bobby McFerrin, and Gunther Schuller; and at festivals including Ravinia, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Beijing Music Festival. Mr. Richeson has performed on more than 100 recordings and regularly performs with BDDS and the chamber ensemble CUBE in Chicago. He is currently associate professor of music at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he is director of percussion studies. Under his direction, the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble has been awarded state and international honors. Mr. Richeson earned his bachelor's degree from Ohio State University and his master's degree from Ithaca College, with additional studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Drummers Collective, New York City. He has also studied drumming in Ghana, Cuba, and Brazil.
Cellist ANTHONY ROSS has been a member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1988. Through the years he has soloed at subscription concerts in works of Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, Lalo, Bloch, and David Ott. A graduate of Indiana University, where he studied with Fritz Magg, Mr. Ross also earned a degree at the State University of New York. Mr. Ross was awarded the bronze medal at the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. His numerous other prizes include the Stulberg Award, the G.B. Dealy Award, and the Parisot International Cello Competition. Before coming to Minnesota, Mr. Ross served as principal cellist of the Rochester Philharmonic in New York and taught at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to serving on the faculties of the Aspen Music Festival, Grand Teton Orchestral Seminar, and Madeline Island Music Camp, he has performed in many festivals throughout the U.S. and in Greece and France. Mr. Ross has recorded Rachmaninoff and Carter sonatas for Boston Records and the Bernstein "Meditations" with the Minnesota Orchestra. This is his thirteenth season with BDDS. (Website)
Violist KERRI RYAN joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as assistant principal viola in 2007. She came to Philadelphia from the Minnesota Orchestra, where she was assistant principal viola for seven seasons. Ms. Ryan and her husband, violinist William Polk, are founding members of the award-winning Minneapolis Quartet. Following her graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1998, she served as associate concertmaster of the Charleston Symphony. Ms. Ryan also studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a member of its Young Artist Program.
STEPHANIE SANT'AMBROGIO enjoys a varied performing and recording career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. Ms. Sant'Ambrogio has performed as a soloist on the foremost stages of the U.S., as well as in Canada, Estonia, Sweden, Ghana, Italy, Peru, Chile and Mexico. In addition to her active performing career, Stephanie is devoted to teaching serious young violinists, many who have won positions in America's symphony orchestras and universities. Currently Associate Professor of Violin and Viola at the University of Nevada, Reno and member of the Argenta Trio, she is also Artistic Director of Cactus Pear Music Festival, which she founded in 1997 while serving as Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony. Former First Assistant Principal Second Violin of The Cleveland Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnany, she recorded and toured internationally with this ensemble for eight seasons. Currently Concertmaster of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra (CA) and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra (OH), Ms. Sant'Ambrogio has a discography of over seventy-five orchestral and chamber music CDs, and has just released her Soaring Solo: Unaccompanied Works for Violin & Viola CD. She performs on a violin crafted in 1757 by J.B. Guadagnini of Milan.
Tenor GREGORY SCHMIDT recently appeared with Madison Opera as Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw and Steuermann in The Flying Dutchman. Other recent engagements include Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor) and Almaviva (The Barber of Seville) with Opera Tampa, Nemorino (The Elixer of Love) with Tulsa Opera, Alfredo (La Traviata) with St. Petersburg Opera, and Ferrando (Così fan tutte) with El Paso Opera. Mr Schmidt has also appeared with Tacoma Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Chattanooga Opera, Nevada Opera, Skylight Opera Theater, Nashville Opera, and Opera Carolina. He made his professional debut with Washington National Opera in the role of Count Belfiore in Mozart's La finta giardiniera and returned to the Kennedy Center the following season as Tamino in The Magic Flute. He apprenticed with Santa Fe Opera and was a Metropolitan Opera Audition National Finalist.
Soprano ANNA SLATE is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she developed an interest in early music as a student of Mimmi Fulmer and sang such roles as Oberto in Handel's Alcina, the soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah and Bach's Mass in B Minor, and Liesgen in Bach's Coffee Cantata with harpsichordist John Chappell Stowe. Last summer Ms. Slate attended the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute, where she performed as the Second Spirit (The Magic Flute), Blonde (The Abduction from the Seraglio), and Nannetta (Falstaff), and in November she made her professional debut as Atalanta in Berkeley West Edge Opera's Xerxes. In 2011 Ms. Slate was the featured soprano soloist in the Madison Festival Choir's February concert and performed with the UW-Madison Black Music Ensemble.
Percussionist ANTHONY DI SANZA has performed, presented master classes, and held residencies throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has appeared as a visiting artist at over 45 colleges, universities, and conservatories and has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. Active in a wide variety of Western and non-Western percussive styles, he can be heard on over 15 CD recordings with various artists. Mr. Di Sanza has performed with numerous orchestras as timpanist or percussionist and currently serves as principal percussionist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Also a composer, Mr. Di Sanza has written two concertos for percussion. His first, for darabukka (Middle Eastern goblet drum) and percussion quartet has been performed internationally; his second, titled Time's Arc, was premiered in 2013 at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Mr. Di Sanza is professor of percussion at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This is his second season with BDDS. (Website)
In 1998, violinist AXEL STRAUSS became the first German artist ever to win the Naumburg Violin Award. Since then he has performed throughout North America as a recitalist and soloist with major orchestras. His concerto appearances have taken him to Germany, Japan, China, and Eastern Europe. Mr. Strauss is frequently invited to music festivals in the U.S. and abroad, including the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, International Music Festival of Saga in Japan, and the Kammermusiktage Mettlach in Germany. His recordings include the last three violin concertos by Kreutzer, the complete Caprices for Solo Violin by Pierre Rode, Kodály's Duo for Violin and Cello, Brahms' Violin Concerto, and Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words. Amadeus Press has issued a DVD featuring Mr. Strauss in concert at Steinway Hall in New York City. Mr. Strauss is professor of violin at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal. Before moving to Canada, he was professor of violin and chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Pianist CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR has concertized around the globe, performing throughout Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. In the U.S. he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, and Boston Pops. As a soloist he has performed at New York's Carnegie and Alice Tully Halls, Washington's Kennedy Center, the Ravinia and Aspen festivals, and dozens of others. He was named an American Pianists' Association Fellow for 2000, before which he received an Avery Fischer Career Grant in 1996, the bronze medal in the 1993 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, first prize in the 1990 William Kapell International Piano Competition, and one of the first Irving Gilmore Young Artists' Awards. Mr. Taylor now serves as Paul Collins Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He owes much of his success to several outstanding teachers, including Russell Sherman and Maria Curcio-Diamand. In addition to music, he pursues a variety of other interests, including mathematics (in which field he graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude); philosophy; computing; linguistics; and biking, which is his primary means of commuting. Mr. Taylor lives in Middleton, Wisconsin, with his wife and two daughters. This is his third season with BDDS.(Website)
At the recommendation of Isaac Stern and Alexander Schneider, violinist CARMIT ZORI came to the U.S. from her native Israel at the age of fifteen to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Ms. Zori is the recipient of a Levintritt Foundation Award, a Pro Musicis International Award, and the top prize in the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. She has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra and in solo recitals at Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston, and Tel Aviv Museum. Her engagements abroad have included performances throughout Latin America and Europe, as well as in Israel, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia. In addition to appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Ms. Zori has been a guest at chamber music festivals and concert series around the world. Ms. Zori is the artistic director of the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, which she founded in 2002. She has recorded on the Arabesque, Koch International, and Elektra-Nonesuch labels. Ms. Zori is professor of violin at Rutgers University and at SUNY Purchase. (Website)
Uruguayan-born PABLO ZINGER is a conductor, pianist, writer, composer, arranger, lecturer and narrator, specializing in the music of Astor Piazzolla, tango, Spanish zarzuela, and Latin American music. He has conducted and played with orchestras, singers and chamber groups throughout the Americas, Europe and East Asia. Mr. Zinger has accompanied Plácido Domingo at Constitution Hall, conducted the closing of Paquito D'Rivera's Carnegie Hall 50th. anniversary concert, conducted the Moscow premiere of Piazzolla's María de Buenos Aires, and narrated Piazzolla's Pueblo Joven at Tokyo's Opera . His Uruguayan musical "Las tentaciones de González" was premiered in New York City in 2012. His tribute to Latin women composers, "Besame mucho," played at New York City's Repertorio Español theatre in spring 2014.. He has written a Latin Jewish tango musical with Ilan Stavans. He tours and records frequently with the Zinger Septet in Valencia, Spain. His CDs include Tango Apasionado with Astor Piazzolla, Chamber Music from the South, and the Grammy-nominated The Clarinetist with Paquito D'Rivera, Las Puertas de la Mañana (songs of Carlos Guastavino), and two sets of Carlos Suriñach's flamenco-infused music. Mr. Zinger has written for the New York Times, Opera News, Guitar Review and Classical Singer, and lectured for the New York Philharmonic. This is his first season with BDDS.(Website)
Grammy and Tony Award winning conductor JOHN DEMAIN is now in his 19th season as music director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and artistic director of the Madison Opera. Mr. DeMain's active conducting schedule has taken him to the stages of the National Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and the symphonies of Seattle, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Houston, and San Antonio, along with the London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of Seville and the Leipzig MDR Sinfonieorchester. In 2007 he donated a performance to Costa Rica's Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional to benefit their National Institute of Music. He has also been a regular conductor with Mexico's Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional and National Opera of Mexico in Mexico City. After his 17-year tenure with Houston Grand Opera, Mr. DeMain served as artistic director for Opera Pacific and as a regular guest conductor with Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, and San Francisco Opera. Mr. DeMain holds honorary degrees from the University of Nebraska and Edgewood College and was recently named a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
Originally from Neenah, WI, soprano EMILY BIRSAN has completed her third year as a member of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she performed as Sandman in Humperdinck's "Hänsel und Gretel," Trainbearer in Strauss's "Elektra," the Page in Verdi's "Rigoletto," Servilia in Mozart's "La Clemenza di Tito" and the first Flower Maiden in a new production of Wagner's "Parsifal." Ms. Birsan was featured on WFMT-Chicago in a themed recital series (Other Americans in Paris, Shakespeare Songs, 1929, Voices of Women, Chicago), singing an array of art song repertoire that aired during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, and she recorded the world premiere of songs of Amy Beach in collaboration with WFMT. Ms. Birsan is a graduate of Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, WI, and earned her master's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music as a Collins Fellow in Opera.
Since her solo debut at 14, Canadian violinist NAHA GREENHOLTZ's concerto engagements have included appearances with the Vancouver, National Ballet of Canada, Madison, Quad City, Burnaby, Kelowna, and National Repertory Orchestras. Ms. Greenholtz is also active as an orchestral musician, serving as concertmaster of both the Madison and Quad City Symphony Orchestras. Additionally, she performs regularly as a guest concertmaster, having made recent appearances with the Oregon, Calgary, National Ballet of Canada, Omaha, and Memphis Symphony Orchestras. Ms. Greenholtz's festival appearances include Kneisel Hall, Taos, Spoleto (Italy), Lucerne, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. She is artistic director of Signature Series, a chamber music festival in Davenport, Iowa. Ms. Greenholtz holds a BM from Juilliard and an artist diploma from CIM's Concertmaster Academy. Her primary teachers have been William Preucil, Joel Smirnoff, Donald Weilerstein, and Andrew Dawes.
This September, clarinetist BURT HARA celebrates his 25th season as the principal clarinet of the Minnesota Orchestra. Previously, Mr. Hara served as principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed as principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, Mr. Hara has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Hara is on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival, and is the principal clarinet of the Aspen Chamber Symphony. An active chamber musician, Mr. Hara performs regularly at the Aspen Music Festival, Summerfest in La Jolla, Music in the Vineyards in Napa Valley, the Salt Bay Chamberfest in Maine, the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota and on the Minnesota Orchestra's chamber music series. Mr. Hara is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Donald Montanaro. His principal teachers also include Yehuda Gilad and Mitchell Lurie.
Violist CHRISTOPHER DOZORYST holds the position of principal viola with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and performs with the Heartstrings program of the Rhapsodie String Quartet. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Oakwood Chamber Players, and the Pecatonica String Quartet. A former Chicagoan, Mr. Dozoryst enjoyed an active freelance career, performing with the Elgin Symphony, Lake Forest Symphony, Ars Viva, Chicago Sinfonietta, and Chicagoland Pops. He earned his BA in music performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997 and his MMU in viola performance from Carnegie-Mellon University in 2000. His teachers have included Louis Rosove, Sally Chisholm, and Atar Arad.
Violinist/violist YURA LEE is the recipient of the 2007 Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Tokyo Philharmonic. In 2000, Ms. Lee made her Carnegie Hall debut with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Ms. Lee was the first-prize winner in the Leopold Mozart Competition, the fourth-prize laureate in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and the second- prize winner in the Premio Paganini Competition in Italy. As a chamber musician, Ms. Lee regularly takes part in the Marlboro Festival, Salzburg Festival, Verbier Festival, Caramoor Festival, Ravinia Festival, Kronberg Festival, and Aspen Music Festival.. In 1997 Ms. Lee received the Debut Artist of the Year prize at the "Performance Today" awards given by National Public Radio. She has also been featured on the "Late Show with David Letterman," CNN/fN, "Fox on Arts," WABC-TV in New York, and ZDF Arte in Germany. Ms. Lee earned her Artist Diploma Degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music and Indiana University. She plays the 1778 Joseph and Antonio Gagliano violin and the 2003 Douglas Cox viola. This is her third season with BDDS. (Website)
Violist ARA GREGORIAN made his New Recital Hall debut and his debut as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1997. Since then, he has performed in New York's Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Alice Tully Hall; Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center; and in major cities throughout the world, including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Helsinki. Throughout his career, Mr. Gregorian has been active as a performer and presenter of chamber music. He is the founder and artistic director of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival in Greenville, NC, and has appeared at festivals worldwide. He has also performed as a member of the Daedalus Quartet, Concertante, and the Arcadian Trio and has recorded for National Public Radio and the Bridge and Kleos labels. Mr. Gregorian is a member of the violin faculty at East Carolina University and has created opportunities for established musicians to mentor and perform with talented students through the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival's Next Generation concerts. Mr. Gregorian received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School. He performs on a Francesco Ruggeri violin from 1690 and a Grubaugh and Seifert viola from 2006. (Website)
CYNTHIA CAMERON-FIX began playing second bassoon with the Madison Symphony Orchestra in 1984 and currently serves as principal bassoon. Over the years, Ms. Cameron-Fix has played in a wide variety of orchestras and chamber ensembles, including Present Music, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Wingra Woodwind Quintet, Whitewater Woodwind Quintet, Con Vivo, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a member of Black Marigold, a Madison-based woodwind quintet. Ms. Cameron-Fix has also performed on baroque bassoon and recorder with the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble and the Madison Early Music Festival. For ten years, she promoted chamber music written primarily by living composers with her ensemble The Music Fix, which performed more than two dozen world premieres and appeared at the Midwest University Society of Composers conference, the International Double Reed Society conference, in guest performances in Wisconsin and Illinois, on several radio broadcasts, and on a CD entitled Northland Impressions. Ms. Cameron-Fix has taught bassoon and coached chamber music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and in her private studio. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from UW-Madison and a Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music.
ZACHARY COHEN, a native of the Bronx, won the position of principal bass of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in his senior year at the Juilliard School at the age of 22. In the 2010-11 season, Mr. Cohen performed Bottesini's Double Concerto for two basses with Edgar Meyer and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Cohen received his Bachelor of Music degree from Juilliard, where he studied with Homer Mensch. During his summers Mr. Cohen has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, and the Dresden Musikfestspiele. As an active chamber musician he has collaborated with a wide range of artists such as Ithzak Perlman, Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida, Midori, Mark O'Connor, and members of the Guarneri and Mendelssohn quartets. He has also worked closely with such contemporary composers as Henri Dutilleux, Osvaldo Golijov, and Mario Davidovsky. While attending Juilliard, Mr. Cohen became a member of the chamber group The Knights, with whom he has recorded two albums on Sony Classical. This past winter Mr. Cohen had the opportunity to teach at the Gitameit Music School in Yangon, Myanmar. (Website)
Clarinetist ROMIE DE GUISE-LANGLOIS has appeared as soloist with the Houston Symphony, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Burlington Chamber Orchestra; has performed as principal clarinetist for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New Haven and Stamford Symphony Orchestras, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's; and has appeared on the concert series of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. An avid chamber musician, Ms. de Guise-Langlois joined the roster of Chamber Music Society Two in 2012. She is the founding member of the Pivot Chamber Soloists, Atria Ensemble, and Sospiro Winds. She won Astral Artists' 2011 National Auditions and was awarded first prize in the 2009 Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition. Ms. de Guise-Langlois has given master classes and taught clarinet and chamber music in Asia, Canada, and the U.S. She participates in the Musical Connections program of Carnegie Hall and is adjunct professor of clarinet at Montclair University. A native of Montréal, Ms. de Guise-Langlois received a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University. She also holds a Master of Music degree and an artist diploma from the Yale School of Music.
ARIEL JUAREZ, a native of Argentina, has been dancing Latin ballroom, lyrical jazz, musical theatre, hip hop, and modern contemporary styles for 16 years. He has performed on Argentina's Broadway; as a member of Chet Walker's Fosse Company (choreographer of the Tony award-winning musical "Pippin"); and a featured dancer on Royal Caribbean Cruises and Celebrity Cruises. He has also danced and choreographed for popular TV programs including Argentina's "Dancing with the Stars," "Singing for a Dream," and "Dreaming to Dance."
THOMAS KASDORF is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance, where he studied with Prof. Christopher Taylor, and where he was selected to be an inaugural member of the Perlman Piano Trio. His work with the Trio and with other instrumentalists has been featured in performances on Wisconsin Public Radio's "Live at The Midday" series. Of a recent performance with Middleton Chamber Orchestra, the Isthmus wrote "Quite avoiding the temptations to virtuosic display and showy overstatement, he treated his assignment with a gentle delicacy." He was co-winner of the Irving Shain Woodwind and Piano Duo Competition, with collaborative partner, flutist Morgann Davis and awarded the Bolz Prize of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Kasdorf has worked in a variety of roles (both on and offstage) in over 100 different theatrical shows. With a specialty in Stephen Sondheim's work, he has been called upon to direct, coach, arrange, and perform reduced or solo orchestrations of Sondheim scores, including A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Putting It Together, Sweeney Todd, Side by Side by Sondheim, Into the Woods, and Company.
Violinist HYE-JIN KIM has performed as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and has appeared as a recitalist at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and London's Wigmore Hall. An active chamber musician, Ms. Kim has toured throughout the U.S. with Musicians from Marlboro, and has made festival appearances at Marlboro, Ravinia, and Martha's Vineyard. Ms. Kim has also served as a cultural representative for South Korea in Switzerland, Australia, and Kazakhstan through concert and outreach engagements. Awarded first prize at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition at age nineteen, Ms. Kim is also the winner of the 2009 Concert Artists Guild Competition and the Philadelphia Orchestra Concerto Competition. Ms. Kim's debut CD, "From The Homeland," featuring music by Debussy, Sibelius, Smetana, and Janacek, in a collaboration with pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute, was released in spring 2014 on CAG Records. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Hye-Jin Kim studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and earned her master's degree at the New England Conservatory. She is an assistant professor of violin at East Carolina University. She plays a Gioffredo Cappa violin, crafted in Saluzzo, Italy in 1687.
Cellist KATJA LINFIELD joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1990. Originally from Boston, Ms. Linfield received her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College and subsequently completed her master's degree at the New England Conservatory and Rutgers University. Her teachers include Bernard Greenhouse, Colin Carr, Steven Doane, and Richard Kapuscinski. As a chamber musician, Ms. Linfield was a member of the Minneapolis-based Bakken Trio for ten years. In addition to chamber music performances in the Twin Cities, she has appeared at national festivals, including Marlboro, Cactus Pear, Music in the Vineyards, Portland Chamber Music Festival, Tanglewood, the Alexandria Festival, and Music on the Hill. Ms. Linfield has also toured with Ensemble Modern in Europe and with Music from Marlboro in the U.S. She is a two-time McKnight Fellowship recipient, for solo performer and as a member of the Bakken Trio. (Website)
FRANCISCO LOPEZ was born in Mexico City, Mexico. Mr. López is a founding member of Sotavento. He is a self-taught musician, who plays charango, guitar, strings and siku. He has a deep understanding of Latin American folk traditions, and is a composer, performer, and educator. Mr. López has collaborated with a number of Latin American musicians performing throughout the United States. Together with Raquel Paraíso, he is co-author of the book "A Collection of Latin American Folk Songs" (Hal Leonard, 1999).
RAQUEL G. PARAISO was born in Lagunilla, Salamanca, Spain. Ms. Paraíso has a B.M. in Violin and Music Education from the Conservatory of Music from Salamanca, Spain, a M.A. in Violin Performance and a Masters in Ethnomusicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ms. Paraíso has performed with several orchestras in Spain and the U.S. In 1984, she co-founded the Sirinx school of music, in Salamanca, noted for its innovative teaching methods. At present, she combines her performing and teaching career with the study and research of Latin American music in the field of Ethnomusicology. She is a member of the musical group Sotavento and is a vocalist, plays violin, mandolin, Puerto Rican cuatro, and siku. Together with Francisco López, she is the author of the book "A Collection of Latin American Folksongs" (Hall Leonard, 1999).
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, clarinetist, ORLANDO PIMENTEL began his musical training in Venezuela's System of Youth Orchestras, also known as "El Sistema." From 1989 to 2009, he was a member of the "Simon Bolivar" Symphony Orchestra. In 1988, together with three other colleagues, he formed the Caracas Clarinet Quartet, a chamber ensemble that has performed throughout Venezuela, as well as in China, Europe, South America, and The United States. In 1997 the quartet was awarded the prize for best chamber ensemble in Venezuela.
A lush-sounding soprano" according to the New York Times, YANZELMALEE RIVERA was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. When she was 16, she enrolled in the Advanced Program of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico and in 2006 she was the recipient of the 2006 Metropolitan National Auditions Encouragement Award. Three years later, she received two awards for excellence in singing from the University of Illinois. Ms. Rivera has sung several title roles from operas such as Die Zauberflote, Le Nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, La Hija de Rappaccini, Threepenny Opera, and Luisa Fernanda. Her most recent engagements include performances with the Spoleto Festival USA and with Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador, where she has appeared in both opera production and as a soloist of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional.
María Castello and Jacques Saint-Cyr have been collaborating since 1994, having performed in contemporary dance and tango in the US and Canada. In 1997 they created "It Takes Three to Tango," a stage production with dance and live music based on the history of Argentine Tango. María E. Castello has been a dancer, choreographer and teacher for more than 30 years and has worked in Argentina, Brazil, Canada and the United States. From 1996 to 2004 Maria led the School of Rockford Dance Company as the first full time school director. Currently Maria is the Artistic Director of the Without Shoes Modern Dance Company in Rockford and teaches at Lathrop Elementary School in the Bilingual Program. She is a professor of Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis in the Dance Therapy Program at the University of the Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Jacques Saint-Cyr has performed extensively in his home province as well in Quebec, France and the United States. He became involved with Tango in 1993. From 1996 to 2003, Mr. Saint-Cyr taught, choreographed and performed at La Tangueria in Montreal, one of the first and most renowned schools dedicated to Argentine tango. Jacques has worked as a guest teacher in many cities across North America including Quebec, Chicoutimi, Ottawa, Washington, and Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. With Maria, he is teaching tango now in Madison, and Milwaukee and Rockford, IL. Jacques teaches flute and music at Rock Valley College and the Rockford University and Music Academy.
RICHARD TODD is associate professor of French horn at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He was a gold medal winner of the 1980 Concours Internationale Toulon and a Pro Musicis International Foundation Award winner. Equally at home in all areas, including classical and jazz, he maintains a rigorous coast-to-coast concert schedule, including performances as principal horn with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Mr.Todd has recorded on over 1,000 motion picture soundtracks, appeared and recorded with such performers as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and Madonna, and as a jazz artist with Clark Terry, Ray Brown, and Woody Herman. He recorded two CDs with Andre Previn--one jazz, What Headphones; the other classical, French Chamber Music--and was personally selected by Gunther Schuller to record his Concerto No.1. He has also recorded solo albums. Previously on the faculty at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music and the Henry Mancini Institute, Mr. Todd is active as a lecturer, clinician, and festival artist. He is a consultant for Hans Hoyer Horns, where he assists in the development of horn and mouthpiece designs. (Website)
Australian-born violist KATRIN TALBOT began her violin studies in Canada and continued them in Missoula, Montana, and Portland, Oregon, before abandoning violin for the lovely inner voice of the viola. On this instrument, she has appeared at the Red Hot Lava Chamber Music Festival in Hawaii, as a guest artist with the Pro Arte Quartet and Monte Verde Quartet, and with the Oakwood Chamber Players. She is a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and, on occasion, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, as well as making an annual appearance in the Karp family Labor Day concerts. She has studied viola with Richard Blum and Guillermo Perich and violin with Eugene Andre and Raphael Spiro and has appeared on several chamber music CDs. Ms. Talbot is also a photographer; her book of photographs, Schubert’s Winterreise: A Winter Journey in Poetry, Image, and Song, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press, and her work has appeared recently in The New York Times. Combining music and imagery is a passion of hers, and she has collaborated on five such live concert presentations at the UW-Madison School of Music, including two of which are being presented this season at Interlochen, New York, and Miami.
ELEANOR BARTSCH is the newly-appointed Concertmaster of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, a member of both the Madison Symphony and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestras, and an active chamber musician throughout the United States. She was recently appointed first violinist of the Petar Jankovic Ensemble, is a performing member of the Chicago Philharmonic, and performs with the Willy Street Chamber Players, of which she is a founding member. A champion of new music, Ms. Bartsch has worked with many well-known living composers including Michael Daugherty, Olly Wilson, Kurt Rohde, Cecilia McDowall, and Laura Elise Schwendinger. A dedicated teacher who maintains a studio of private students, Eleanor is on the faculty of the Barrington Music Academy and the UW Madison Summer Music Clinic, and during her time in Madison coached first violin sectionals every Saturday morning for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO). Eleanor's violin was made by Italian-born British luthier Joseph Panormo circa 1820. Her bow was made by modern French maker Michel Jamonneau. The YouTube video that stars Eleanor, "Elephants Dancing to Violin" went viral in 2014 and appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and other national news outlets. It currently has over 3 million views.
CHARLES BLOCK grew up in Riverside, CA. Eventually he decided to put down his Fender P-bass and take up the double bass, so he enrolled at San Francisco State University from 1997-2000, studying orchestral playing with Shinji Eshima of the the San Francisco Opera and jazz with Jeff Chambers. He then made his way to Indiana University, to study with noted professor Bruce Bransby, formerly Principal Bass of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. After graduating with a Master's degree in 2003, he spent two years with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Mr. Block has been a member of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra since 2004, as well as the Madison Symphony, the Kalamazoo Symphony, and has performed with regional orchestras all over the upper Midwest. From 2006 to 2008 he served as Assistant Principal Bass of the Memphis Symphony. He has participated in the Aspen, National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto USA, and Bachakademie Stuttgart summer music festivals, and has also played with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Ravina Festival Orchestra in Chicago, and the RTE National Symphony in Dublin, Ireland. In the 2009-10 season, Mr. Block appeared with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, The Macao Orchestra, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and the Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra.
KENNETH OLSEN joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal cello in 2005. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and a winner of the school's prestigious concerto competition. His other awards include first prize in the Nakamichi Cello Competition at the Aspen Music Festival and second prize at the 2002 Holland-America Music Society Competition. His teachers have included Richard Aaron at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Joel Krosnick at New York's Juilliard School of Music and Luis Garcia-Renart at Bard College. He also has been a participant at the Steans Institute for Young Artists (the Ravinia Festival's professional studies program for young musicians) and at Boston University's Tanglewood Institute. A native of New York, Kenneth Olsen is a founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, a conductorless string orchestra comprised of young musicians from orchestras and ensembles all over the country.
JOSEPH MORRIS is an emerging clarinetist equally at home as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral performer. Mr. Morris has been the Principal Clarinet of the Madison Symphony Orchestra since 2013 where he was featured as soloist in Copland's Clarinet Concerto in September 2015. He joined the Sarasota Opera as Principal Clarinet in 2015. Recent engagements as soloist include performances with the Burbank Philharmonic, Downey Symphony Orchestra, West Los Angeles Symphony, Middleton Community Orchestra and with the Colburn Orchestra in a performance of John Adams' Gnarly Buttons directed by the composer. A laureate of numerous competitions, Mr. Morris has been awarded first prize in the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts Competition, the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Competition, the Downey Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Music Teacher's National Association Solo Competition and concerto competitions at the Music Academy of the West, the Thornton School of Music and the National Repertory Orchestra. He was a semifinalist in the Fifth Carl Nielsen International Competition in Odense, Denmark in 2013. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Morris has performed as part of the Colburn Chamber Music society and the Accord Quintet. He was on the clarinet faculty at the Luzerne Music Center from 2014 – 2015 where he performed as part of the Luzerne Chamber Players. Mr. Morris has performed as Guest Principal Clarinet with the Sarasota Orchestra and the Boise Philharmonic. In addition, he has performed with the Utah Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, and New World Symphony.
Serbian flutist IVANA UGRCIC has been a solo artist at numerous music festivals in Belgrade, Serbia; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; and in the USA. She has also performed as a soloist and chamber musician Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Macedonia, Hungary, and Greece. Ms. Ugrcic has performed and recorded in Europe with the Symphony Orchestra of Radio Television of Serbia, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and the French Flute Orchestra. She has also worked as a flute professor in Belgrade, Serbia and has appeared with jazz, blues and alternative music ensembles. After completing her Bachelor and Master's degrees in 2005 at the University of Belgrade Academy of Music, Ivana Ugrcic moved to Paris, where she received a full scholarship from the Albert Roussel Foundation. In 2014, Ms. Ugrcic was awarded the Collins Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, where she is currently a candidate for a Doctorate of Musical Arts. In collaboration with pianist Thomas Kasdorf, she won the Shain Irving duo competition 2014-2015. In February of 2015, Ms. Ugrcic was a soloist with the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra as a winner of the 2014-15 UW-Madison Concerto Competition. Her recent solo album, "The Four Seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi, was released in September, 2014.
SALLY CHISHOLM is violist of the Pro Arte Quartet, Professor of Viola, and artist in residence at UW-Madison. She is a permanent member of Midsummer's Music Festival (Door County), the Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute (Minnesota), and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota. During the 2013-14 season, Ms. Chisholm served as Principal Violist of the Chicago Philharmonic. She performs annually in the Festival Der Zukunft in Switzerland and the Marlboro Festival in Vermont, and in 2013 she performed at the International Viola Congress (Krakow, Poland). Ms. Chisholm was a founding member of the Thouvenel String Quartet, which co-commissioned quartets of Elliot Carter, Milton Babbitt, Mel Powell, and Ernst Krenek. Her recitals of twentieth-century American viola music and her premieres include Edmond Cone's Variations for Solo Viola, John Harbison's The Violist's Notebooks, Andrew Imbrie's Sonatina, the American premiere of Yehuda Yannay's Viola Sonata, and new chamber works for the Hun Qiao Concert with Yo-Yo Ma. Ms. Chisholm won first prize at the Weiner International Chamber Music Competition and was a Naumburg Competition finalist. She has performed on the Today Show and has toured in China and Tibet.
LEANNE KELSO LEAGUE is the assistant concertmaster of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and associate concertmaster of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. She also teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and is a member of the Ancora String Quartet. Ms. League was a fellow at the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas for three seasons, where she served as concertmaster and principal second. During that time, she also performed at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi in Italy for two summers. Ms. League enjoys playing the Baroque violin, and has performed regularly with the Madison Bach Musicians, the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble and the Tallahassee Bach Parley.
KATHRYN NETTLEMAN joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2009 and currently serves as its Acting Associate Principal Bass. Her international orchestral career has included such posts as Principal Bass of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; and of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, right here in Madison. Kate is a native of Haddon Township, New Jersey, and currently lives in Minneapolis with her husband, bassist Charles Block.
ROSS GILLIAND maintains a lively performance career as bassist with the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Pacifica Chamber Orchestra, Puget Sound Symphony, and Everett Philharmonic. He has played with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Con Vivo!, Oakwood Chamber Players, Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Madison Bach Musicians, and with his touring ska band. Mr. Gilliland holds an undergraduate degree in music and physics from UW-Madison, and the master's degree in public administration from the University of Washington. He worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality developing National Environmental Policy Act procedures and guidelines, as well as managing data for 26 federal agencies. As Director of Sustainability & Evaluation for Equal Opportunities Schools in Seattle, Mr. Gilliland has been instrumental in developing cutting-edge research, findings and tools to enable schools to understand the causes and potential solutions to the problem of students graduating unprepared for college-level study. He serves on the Systems Advisory Committee for Seattle Public Utilities.
Lisa A. Frank was the MacDowell Colony's Evelyn Stephansson Nef Fellow in photography for 2015. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she holds an MFA in Design Studies, Lisa is currently part of the Discovery to Product (D2P) incubator program. With its support, she is developing virtual reality content that is based on her 2D photography. Using her artwork to also enhance interdisciplinary explorations, Frank was chosen to be a Senior Research Fellow at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She was the first artist/collaborator to be given this distinction. Lisa has an extensive professional background as a working artist in New York City where she designed textiles, wallpaper, and innovative surface treatments for residential and commercial interior projects. She painted scenery for the Metropolitan Opera, feature films and Broadway productions as a member of the United Scenic Artists union.